WIRED UK Jul / Aug 2018

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United Kingdom
Conde Nast Publications Ltd
6 期号


creating wired

TELESCOPIC VISION Photographer Benedict Redgrove (above right, with photo assistant Agne Bekeraityte) journeyed to the Atacama desert in Chile to photograph its array of giant telescopes – but ended up getting schooled on science and suffering a bout of motion sickness: “I got chatting to the scientist looking after us, confidently telling her what I thought I knew about black holes and dark matter. After a few minutes of me imparting my incredible wisdom, I asked her if I’d got it about right. She looked at me and said I was wrong about pretty much everything. Later on, the technicians were calibrating the equipment for that evening’s work. When the telescope changes position, the entire building moves – but the part we were standing on remained stationary. I couldn’t tell what…

the culture of breaking things is broken

Big Tech used to boast about not playing by the rules. Now it needs to start fixing problems. Just over a decade ago, when Facebook was a scrappy contender being built by hackers and college dropouts, the phrase “move fast and break things” was a company call to arms, a flag around which early employees could secure their bearings. The times – slap-bang at the epicentre of the express commer-cialisation of the internet – dictated that, if engineers were to develop products that had resonance with customers, speed was paramount. Better to build something with flaws and release it into the wild than miss the chance to beat your rivals to market. First was everything at a time when rapid adoption of smartphones offered a marketplace that was evolving dramatically. Facebook’s slogan…

the space race goes lightweight

Today’s space race is tougher than ever, with governments competing against each other and the private sector for a chunk of the lucrative satellite-launch market. In Europe, Italian aerospace company AVIO’s new Vega C rocket – the maiden voyage of which is planned for 2019 – aims to be the fastest and most versatile option for a variety of tasks, from heavy comms tech to Nanosats. Based on the workhorse Vega launcher used by French manufacturer Arianespace since 2012, the Vega C uses 7,000km of carbon fibre to keep its components light and flexible. The “C” in its name stands for “common”, as the tech will be deployed by a variety of other launchers, including the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Ariane 6. In development since 2015, the Vega C comes with ramped-up…

smarten your clothes up

‘The electronic layering is essentially a drapable, stretchable circuit board’ LOOMIA wants to give your clothes an invisible high-tech makeover. The Brooklyn-based startup has developed a material that, when connected to sensors, can emit light from your jacket or heat up your boots in the winter. The electronic layer is similar to nylon and can be sewn into garments as seamlessly as a care tag. So far, it has been used in prototypes for household brands including Calvin Klein and The North Face. “The electronic layering is essentially a drapable, crease-able, stretchable circuit board,” explains Madison Maxey, the founder and chief technology officer of smart-textile firm LOOMIA. Before starting LOOMIA, Maxey was a master seamstress at a French tailor. In 2013, aged 25, she won a Thiel fellowship to pursue advancements in fashion…

tech to tickle your funny bone

Wires snake around mixing desks. Computer monitors perch on every surface. A homemade electric toy car slides along a makeshift monorail to hover over a sausage in a frying pan, itself balanced on a portable gas stove. This is the headquarters of Foxdog Studios – or rather, it was the living room, until props from its interactive tech-based comedy show took over. Foxdog is friends Lloyd Henning and Peter Sutton. By day, they run an IT consultancy from their home in south Manchester; by night they moonlight as musical comedians with a wonky tech bent. They met at the University of Manchester and started their IT company upon graduating; the comedy came later. Foxdog’s live shows rely on audience participation, but not the kind that might panic the stage-shy. Using a combination…

mass media

Inside the package was a used Queer as Folk box set – each of the pre-owned discs carefully checked to ensure they were scratch-free and ready to play as soon as the delivery reached its new owner. The destination? Vatican City. Not every item that makes its way through musicMagpie – the world’s biggest reseller of physical media – is quite so politically charged. Its bread and butter are albums of a bygone era. Nevermind, Queen’s Greatest Hits and Thriller are some of the most common titles held across the company’s 16,500m of warehouse space in Stockport and Macclesfield. Old releases from game franchises such as FIFA, Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto are another staple. As soon as the latest title is released, people rush to box up and…